16 victory on late score
Welcome to sunny Cleveland, where the Dolphins hope to put a stop to their twogame winning streak and exact revenge on the Browns, who put a dagger in the Dolphins playoff hopes a year ago with a 1310 win in South Florida.
The big news of the day is that Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis will not play because of strep throat, which he contracted on Friday. Hillis rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns last week, and could have been in line for a big day against the Dolphins shaky run defense. Secondyear veteran Montario Hardesty, who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL, will get the start instead. He has just eight carries for 19 yards this year, but is a big, physical running back (60, 225).
TE Ben Watson absolutely killing Miami with four catches for 58 yards as Cleveland moves deep into Dolphin territory, but defensive plays by Kendall Langford and Yeremiah Bell force Browns to settle for a field goal. Still, its 1010 in a game Dolphins have dominated.
For the Dolphins, defensive backs Will Allen and Chris Clemons, both Questionable with hamstring injuries, are active and will play today. Nolan Carroll will start in Vontae Davis place, rookie Hback Charles Clay is active for the first time this season, and newcomers Nate Jones and Igor Olshansky, both signed this week, will be active today. The Dolphins one surprise inactive is Phillip Merling, who will be replaced by Olshansky and Ryan Baker.
The full list of inactives for both teams:
That about all the updates we have now from the stadium. Colleague Brian Biggane will take over from here, and he be providing updates after each quarter and a full recap immediately after the game, so make sure to check back early and often.
Minutes before kickoff and here something to watch for: Remember last year when Cleveland Dlineman David Bowens said after the Miami game that the Browns figured out Chad Henne throws more sidearm than over the top, making his passes easier to knock down? No doubt Cleveland defenders will be out to do that again today, as well as out to make it another long day for Henne, who was intercepted three times in last year 1310 loss.
TE Anthony Fasano was talking this week about how no one guy has been stalling the offense; it been a team effort. Well, it was Fasano holding penalty that stopped the first drive. And he didn have a catch last week.
Heady play by rookie corner Jimmy Wilson gives the ball back to Miami. Dolphins should have had Colt McCoy on that blitz, but forcing him to throw on the run resulted in an offtarget effort that Wilson stepped up and picked. Only the second forced turnover this year and first since Jared Odrick picked off Tom Brady in the opener.
Henne fakes have Cleveland defense completely confused and screen pass to Daniel Thomas works for a TD. Dolphins lead 70. Thomas hasn shown it yet in a game, but has demonstrated he an excellent receiver in practice.
End of first quarter: Dolphins 7, Browns 0. Each team has turned it over once but Dolphins have outgained Browns 11927 and look like the better team on both sides of the ball.
More redzone problems for Dolphins, who reach the Cleveland 5 on a nice drive highlighted by a superb Brian Hartline 31yard reception only to have to settle for a Carpenter field goal. Dolphins 10, Browns 7 at halftime. In case you wondering, it was 33 last year at halftime.
Dan Carpenter, who had a poor finish to last season and missed two last week (one of them blocked), pulls a 51yarder left. Dolphins still lead 70 but that two wasted scoring opportunities.
Sean Smith gets turned out and McCoy hits Josh Cribbs with 33yard TD pass. If you recall, McCoy had Cribbs open for a bomb earlier and overthrew him. Don be surprised if Browns roll out McCoy more to get away from what has been a pretty good Dolphins pass rush. Dolphins 7, Browns 7.
Stats from the first half tell a far different story from the score. Dolphins have a 23499 edge in total yards and Henne is a superb 15of19 for 191 yards and a score while McCoy is 5of14 for 73 yards with a TD and an interception. But Browns get the ball first and it up to the NFL lastranked defense to keep Miami in front. Hard to figure.
Browns move down and stall themselves in the red zone before kicking a field goal to tie it 1010. Ben Watson is the latest tight end to kill the Dolphins; he now has four catches for 58 yards.
Another excellent play by Hartline gives Dolphins a first down at the Cleveland 7, but redzone problems continue as they have to settle for another Carpenter field goal to lead 1310.
Cameron Wake finally makes his presence known, drawing a holding penalty and then hurrying McCoy on a thirdandlong to bring on the Browns punt team. Miami starts at its own 22 early in the fourth quarter with a chance to really take control of a game the Dolphins have dominated everywhere but the scoreboard.
John Jerry, a failed secondyear guard filling in for the injured Vernon Carey, draws a holding penalty that stops yet another drive.
Penalties killing the Dolphins in so many ways: nine for 88 yards, compared to five for 40 for Cleveland. Two on this Browns drive moved them from the 5 to the 30 without the Browns actually gaining a yard.
For all the frustrations, Dolphins hold thanks to a risky Smith pass breakup and get the ball back at their own 41 with about six minutes left. Time for Daniel Thomas and the run offense to close the window.
But they couldn and even a third Carpenter field goal left the Browns a chance to win if they could drive the length of the field.
McCoy did just that, hitting Mohamed Masoquoi in the right corner of the end zone with a 14yard pass with 43 seconds left.
Miami had one more chance on the Browns side of midfield following a horsecollar penalty on the subsequent kickoff, but Henne threw three incompletions and an interception to end the threat.
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